Obama Should Drop Plans to Escalate Afghan War; Send Peace Corps Instead

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by Sherwood Ross – President-elect Obama should drop his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a country that never attacked America, out of pity for a helpless civilian population that will only suffer increasing misery from an expanded fight against the Taliban and its allies.

Making Education a Centerpiece of Obama’s Rebuilding Plan

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by Tom Hall – Amidst all the talk from both conservatives and “progressives” about how President-elect Obama’s cabinet and economic-recovery choices are destroying either the nation or his own commitment to progressive ideas, it might be useful to think about Georgia Congressman, Paul Broun, who identified President Obama as a Marxist, communist, socialist, fascist.

Friday Feedback: The Faith Waste Initiative

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by George in response to Gene Rothman’s Obama’s Faith-Based Initiative: The Devil Is in the Details: Writes George, “The solution to all of the difficulties of the centerpiece and entirety of Bush’s original putative philosophical [...]

Obama’s Nixonian Dilemma with Iraq

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by Brian R. Robertson With several public commentators and scholars comparing President-elect Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, it has surprised me that there has been little attempt to compare Obama’s election with Richard M. Nixon’s election, exactly forty years ago. Both inherited divisive wars from the previous administration and both campaigns [...]

The Face of America

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by Nadia Hajib – I usually define myself as, first, a human being and a global citizen, committed to human rights for all. Second, a Palestinian Arab with American attributes. And third, a woman, conscious of that additional layer of discrimination with which women struggle, whatever their race, creed, or economic status.

Pardon Me: Is Our Long National Nightmare Over, or About to Begin Again?

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by Gene Rothman – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), in response to the issue of potential legal actions against the Bush administration’s for violations of the U.S, Constitution, wrote: “Thank you for your letter concerning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and his authority to grant pardons. I appreciate the time you took to write [...]

Holiday Gloom in Silicon Valley

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by Carl Bloice – A couple of days before Thanksgiving one of my downstairs neighbors matter of factly told me he had lost his job. He’d been abruptly laid off by a local information technology startup company. “They let go so many people I don’t know how they are going to get the work done,” [...]

Slavery, American Style, Must Go!

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ho says there are no slaves in America? The greatest domestic issue facing President-elect Obama is not the bailout of the bankers and insurers but the task of lifting tens of millions of hard-working American wage-slaves out of dire poverty. These are the folks who hold one – and sometimes two or even three – [...]

Of Financial Capital and Human Capital: Why We’re Bailing Out Wall Street While Allowing Our Schools to Get Clobbered

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by Robert Reich – Our preoccupation with the immediate crisis of financial capital is causing us to overlook the bigger crisis in America’s human capital. While we commit hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, we’re slashing our outlays for public education.

Bail Out the Big Three and Revitalize the Economy

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by John Paul Rossi – The other week, the appeal of the Big Three’’s executives for a $25 billion taxpayer bailout for their desperately ailing firms failed. Neither the fractious lame duck Congress, nor the Bush administration were willing to help.

Why the Automakers Won’t Make Fuel-Efficient Cars, Even as the Price of Being Bailed Out

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by Robert Reich – Telling automakers to make more fuel-efficient cars as a condition of being bailed out is like telling Citigroup or any other big bank to issue more affordable loans to Main Street as a condition of being bailed out. It won’t happen.

Heed Russia’s Warnings About Further NATO Expansion

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by Ivan Eland – Upon Barack Obama’s election, the Russians made threats to U.S. allies over their acceptance of a U.S. missile defense system. Also, Russia recently sent its first large military force to Latin America since the end of the Cold War to participate in naval exercises off the Venezuelan coast. Is this a [...]

The Rebirth of Keynes, and the Debate to Come

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by Robert Reich – The economy has just about come to a standstill – not so much because credit markets are clogged as because there’s not enough demand in the economy to keep it going. Consumer spending has fallen off a cliff. Investment is drying up. And exports are dropping because the recession has now [...]

On Cabinet Picks, Obama Savvier than Progressive Critics

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by Randy Shaw – As Barack Obama’s Cabinet fills with Clinton Administration veterans, some are raising concerns why no “movement progressive” has been selected. Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State galvanized fears that Obama’s cabinet is unduly “centrist,” a concern amplified by the daily parade of predominately white male Clinton veterans in the “possible [...]

Is It 1932 or 1952?

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by Colleen Doody – In the wake of Barack Obama’s historic victory, the question arises of whether we are witnessing a fundamental realignment in American politics. Does 2008 mark the “end of the conservative era” as Pat Buchanan claimed? Or will this election, like Bill Clinton’s before it, be a Democratic interlude in the midst [...]

Military Action May Sometimes Be Moral and Constitutional, But Not Smart

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by Ivan Eland – President-elect Barack Obama—showing the obligatory toughness toward foreign “evildoers” needed (especially by Democrats) in American political campaigns—pledged to use the American military to go after al Qaeda in Pakistan. Of all people, his hawkish rival, Senator John McCain, who supported the unprovoked U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, criticized Obama’s approach [...]

Latin America: Obama’s Opportunity

Venezuela held regional elections on Sunday, 23 November, and opposition candidates made substantial gains against the governing party of President Hugo Chávez, winning at least five governorships (of 22), including the two most populous states and the mayorality of Metropolitan Caracas). Chávez announced that he accepted the results, and added that “these elections demonstrated that [...]

How Obama Is Already Taking Charge

by Robert Reich – Obama’s immediate challenge is to fill the leadership vacuum created by a lame-duck president with historically-low approval ratings who seems to have lost interest in his job (at this writing, he’s out of the country) and who’s disappeared from the media, and a Treasury chief who has all but punted on [...]

New Camelot Coming: Patience, Progressives

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We’ve celebrated for two-and-a-half weeks and what better way to remember Jack Kennedy on this solemn day than to watch President-elect Obama’s deliberate, studious, and principled leadership in action. The hard work began precisely at 11 p.m. on 04 November, healing our land and cleaning up our reputation in the world, after the Administration of [...]

Since You Died

Dear Jerry: I can’t believe it’s been a year since you’ve gone. While you’ve been dead much has happened. You got cremated. Part of you was scattered at sea per your request; a bit of you escaped into the wind at the beach, some is with your family and I have a tiny spoonful of [...]

Obama’s Challenges Are Unprecedented in U.S. History

Few incoming presidents have been left by their predecessors with as many challenges as Barack Obama. In fact, with the daunting terrain facing the incoming president, one wonders why Obama and John McCain even wanted the office. Other presidents facing an uphill task when taking office were (clockwise from upper left): George Washington, who had [...]

Letter to Diana: Obama Can Only Be as Progressive as the Progressives Show Themselves to Be

A very important person to me is named Diana and it is to her I address this letter. Diana, is no less than the goddess of “the heavenly light that illuminates the darkness” and “a protector of children.” Serious stuff and someone in no way would I want to contradict. And yet Diana, like many [...]

Where Is California’s Barack Obama?

Fresh off a thrilling presidential campaign, California Democrats face a Governor’s race without a candidate that can rally a multi-racial, class-crossing grassroots base. The three most talked about candidates — Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom — neither offer a sharply new direction nor provide the transformational message that was at the heart of [...]

Latino Immigrants Played Key Role in Obama’s Red State Victories

Among the most overlooked stories this political season was the major impact of Latino voters in Barack Obama’s red state victories. While Latinos’ 67% support for Obama has gotten some attention, the media has largely overlooked the fact that Latino immigrants backed Obama by a 78% margin, and their support was critical in the Democrat’s [...]

Why the Sarah Palin Gamble Didn’t Pay Off

by Joel K. Goldstein – John McCain probably lost whatever chance he had to become president on August 28, the day he invited Sarah Palin to be his running mate. In making that decision, McCain ignored a lesson of recent vice-presidential selection: presidential candidates run a huge risk if they  choose a running mate who [...]

The Obama Tide

by Carl Matthes – The tide didn’t seem very strong when reports from the first closed polls were broadcast in Los Angeles from back East, late Tuesday afternoon, November 4. True, the previous night, there was the slightest of ripples when results from tiny New Hampshire towns, which historically vote Republican, gave Obama a winning [...]

Good Bye Neoconservatives. Hello to Their Liberal Brethren?

The media and the Washington foreign policy elite breathed a sigh of relief when Barack Obama thumped John McCain in the election. Had John McCain won, there was always the chance that the neoconservatives would have beaten out the Republican realists for his foreign policy soul. With a victory by the liberal Obama, however, the [...]

President-Elect Obama: NO To Anti-Freedom War-Hawk Jane Harman HR 1955

by Linda Milazzo – According to the local Los Angeles newspaper, California Congresswoman, Jane Harman, a blue dog conservative Democrat, is up for a high-level intelligence position in the Obama administration. The positions being considered are CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence, and Secretary of Homeland Security. If this speculation becomes fact, and Harman is [...]

The Mini Depression and the Maximum-Strength Remedy

by Robert Reich – This is not the Great Depression of the 1930s, but nor is it turning out to be merely a bad recession of the kind we’ve experienced periodically over the last half century. Call it a Mini Depression.

From Kennedy to Obama: Recapturing America’s Greatness

by Tom Hall – The day after the election, another lawyer in my office asked, “Is this what it felt like in 1960?” When did I get old enough that people think of me when they want the wisdom of the aged? But it’s a fascinating question.

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